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  • Suicide

    I spent the whole long weekend deciding whether or not to post about this, cause I don't want it to seem like a sympathy grab, but I figured, at the end of the day, it's probably a "good" topic to discuss

    So, on Friday I received a text from my ex (we are cordial and text some, but not a ton), "I just heard, Johnny shot himself"...Johnny was a guy in our building in Tulsa. We were never the best of friends, but we went to happy hours, had him over, hung out at the pool, etc and he was always the sweetest/nicest guy. I know everyone says that, but it really was true about Johnny. For as long as I had known him, and several years before I met him, he had been dating the same woman, but they broke up in the past year or so. I had lost touch with him when I moved to KC and quit facebook, and never reached out when I heard they split up

    You never know what's going on in a person's head. I am somewhat oversensitive about it, because, like Johnny, I always put on a good face when I was in public, but then just headed back to my room to lay in my bed in the dark until I had to get up and do it again the next day. At my lowest point, I never contemplated suicide, but I recall laying in bed thinking, "If I don't wake up tomorrow, I'm alright with it".

    Anyway, I just got to thinking about how alone he must have felt to think that was the right option for him. I know lots of people get mad at individuals that commit suicide, because "it's a final solution to a temporary problem" and "selfish", but I just feel so bad that he got to the point where it seemed reasonable to end it all. I feel bad for his ex and his mother, who apparently found him. He supposedly did it on Monday and they found him Thursday.

    I'm not sitting here trying to say that my experience with suicide is more profound than anyone else's, this is literally the first person in my life that has died prematurely, and it hit me really really hard.

    Bottom line, and I was a big advocate for this before Johnny's passing, if you're feeling down, talk to someone about it, anyone. Reach out to me if you want, I'm always available to listen and there are ways out of it.

    This community has been great to me over the years and I'm always happy to give back wherever I can.

  • #2
    Amen.

    My boss in my first job out of college was a really nice guy, though a bit hyperactive - He was known to come into the office some mornings with a dozen donuts in one hand and an opened can of Monster sitting on top of an unopened one in the other. He and his wife had three boys that he never stopped talking about, was very good at what he did, appeared to have a wide network of professional contacts and friends and all of that. We went our separate ways after about a year and a half and kept up here and there, though I wouldn't say regularly.

    Then one day about two years ago, I got a call from one of our old coworkers who was closer to him saying that he turned a gun on himself. He didn't know why for sure, but his best guess was that it was due to money problems. They had been close friends since their early 20s and he was just as blindsided by it as I was, which I think said a lot. So yes, if you're feeling those kinds of thoughts, to talk to someone, even if it's a stranger manning a hotline halfway across the country. Part of what makes suicide so frustrating is that so many of the people whose lives it claims don't think they can help their situation.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by NoPantsChico View Post
      Amen.

      My boss in my first job out of college was a really nice guy, though a bit hyperactive - He was known to come into the office some mornings with a dozen donuts in one hand and an opened can of Monster sitting on top of an unopened one in the other. He and his wife had three boys that he never stopped talking about, was very good at what he did, appeared to have a wide network of professional contacts and friends and all of that. We went our separate ways after about a year and a half and kept up here and there, though I wouldn't say regularly.

      Then one day about two years ago, I got a call from one of our old coworkers who was closer to him saying that he turned a gun on himself. He didn't know why for sure, but his best guess was that it was due to money problems. They had been close friends since their early 20s and he was just as blindsided by it as I was, which I think said a lot. So yes, if you're feeling those kinds of thoughts, to talk to someone, even if it's a stranger manning a hotline halfway across the country. Part of what makes suicide so frustrating is that so many of the people whose lives it claims don't think they can help their situation.
      The bolded is where I'm at, I'm only guessing that it has to do with his breakup, but it could be money, could be work, who knows.

      My ex said that she was told that he had gotten to spend some time with his ex the week before, and who knows, maybe that "got him ready" in terms of, he got the closure he needed.

      The memorial happens to be occurring this Thursday and I'll happen to be in Tulsa. His ex is a friend of mine as well, so I'm glad I'll get to see her and pay my respects...just a shitty thing to have to go through

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      • #4
        Frequency of energy drink use positively associated with suicidal thoughts...
        Background: Concerns have been expressed regarding the potential for caffeinated energy drinks to negatively affect mental health, and particularly so in young consumers at whom they are often targeted. The products are frequently marketed with declarations ...

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        • #5
          You never know what's going on in someone's life. I have known a handful of people that have ended their own lives, but none of them really well. I suppose the one I was closest to was a classmate of mine from grade school and high school. He was a highly intelligent individual that was very socially awkward. Every time I watch "The Big Bang Theory," it reminds me of this guy. He wasn't like any one specific character on that show, but had traits of nearly all of the main characters. He had very few friends. I suppose in some ways I was one of his closest friends in High School and I wasn't, in any way, "close" to him. We talked at times, but that's about it. We graduated, we all went our separate ways, and I heard a few years later that he had killed himself.

          I think I've shared this before, but maybe not; I have had depression with suicidal thoughts, myself. That's actually one of the reasons I began frequenting message boards and then ended up landing on the Phog before coming here. My depression began with the onset of puberty and was clearly hormonal related. It peaked, for me, at age 15 with a very dark period lasting about 6 months. Then, I had another, shorter period of deep depression when I was around 19. For some reason, my 19th birthday was hard for me. I think part of it was that I was having difficulty adjusting to college. At any rate, I haven't had any significant periods of darkness since then.

          I'm sure many of you know that I'm something of a loner, very, very introverted and that I internalize everything. Going out in crowds (even shopping malls around Christmastime, for example) tends to bring some anxiety for me. That being said, I haven't really had any suicidal thoughts since I was 19. My moods are much more on an even keel now that I've passed through the teen years.

          Depression comes in many forms and has many causes. The tough thing is that you never really know. Often, people who seem to be very care-free and happy going through life can have some serious inner-demons. Most of them won't let you know what's going on inside them. Hormones and diet can play a huge role in depression and suicidal thoughts, but so can circumstances (relationships and money).

          The only thing I would say, based on my experiences is that if you find yourself going through a difficult time, there are people that are willing to help.

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          • #6
            We went through this 2 years ago. My wife’s brother back east, married with 4 grown kids. Called up his son one day and started giving him bank account info, passwords, insurance - basically all the personal family finances. He had already driven to a motel a few hours away from home with a pistol. Told his son goodbye, hung up and shot himself. No one in the family had a clue he was suicidal. No one understands why. It left a huge unanswered void for the family. His wife wasn’t so much saddened as she was angry by what he’d done. The family didn’t even do a funeral they were so upset.
            It’s hard for the families to understand many suicides. Survvivor’s guilt is huge. As is my family’s angry reaction. When you don’t see it coming, it just leaves a gaping hole of unanswered questions. My wife still doesn’t unerstand why her brother did it.

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            • #7
              I guess I have only known 1 person that committed suicide. For 15 years as a part time gig I took care of our golf course. There was a group of 5-6 elderly guys who golfed every day. After years and years of these same guys golfing, One the guys quit showing up. I saw him in the coffee shop one day and told him I missed seeing him at the course, he said “ I can’t golf anymore, can’t see anymore, can’t drive anymore, I’m just good for nothing” . I told him to just come out and ride along, trying to console him.
              He went home and his wife had gotten handicap tags for their car, he got mad and went to his room and grabbed a rifle, walked out the back door and killed himself.

              suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Joe Norris View Post

                The bolded is where I'm at, I'm only guessing that it has to do with his breakup, but it could be money, could be work, who knows.
                I think the reason is mental illness; not money or breakups. People live in deep poverty all over the world and many are very happy. People lose much money and can remain happy. It's when these events happen combined with mental illness that can cause issues to turn dire.

                I have no experience with depression or anxiety. But my son (17) has deep anxiety and suicidal thoughts. He came up to a stop sign the other day and stopped. A bus was stopped picking people up on his left (no stop sign on that street) and my son wanted to turn right. So, he crept out into the streets slowly so that he could see if any cars were coming from around the bus and then he went. A cop pulled him over a block later for not stopping at the stop sign. My son had stopped. He was going somewhere, but turned around and came home. He was crying so hard he couldn't tell us what happened. Finally, he produced the ticket and I simply read it (just glad that he hadn't been in an accident). He was convinced that life doesn't work for him even when he does the right thing; that the world is against him. This went on for a long time. We tried to help him know that we'd fight the ticket (though, I don't know how you win without your own dash-cam footage) and that seemed to help him to know I have his back. My wife asked him for more evidence that the world is against him and he pointed to the night before when he was running the lights for the school musical and a fuse blew causing a set of lights to go down. My son fixed it within a minute, but the director was yelling at him for not getting the lights right, so my son added this to his depression of doing his best, but still getting into trouble. He said he didn't want live since he doesn't matter. My wife is very good at helping him realize his value, but it worries me that rationale talk doesn't sink in . . . at least not easily.

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                • #9
                  Know a few folks who have gone this route. My uncle about 30 years ago, money issues. Two guys I went to high school upon their return from service overseas. One I stayed in contact with and from our correspondence, you knew it just fucked him up. Wasn't surprised he eventually succumbed to the depression.

                  The last was just unfathomable. Guy was a local HS star basketball player growing up, went on to play at a small D-1 on scholarship. 6-4, looked like a young Mark Messier. Had a twin brother who somehow missed the hoops gene but was hilarious. After graduation, went to work in pharmaceutical sales and with his personality, immediately started making huge money. Met a gorgeous woman (a good friend of my wife) and was married within a year and a half of meeting her. Promotions followed quickly as well as eventually three beautiful daughters. They built their dream home off a lake in the country and he had EVERYTHING going for him. Financially secure, loving family, twin brother and parents near by, etc. He started dabbling in oxy. Was eventually caught and went to rehab.

                  Upon return, he lost his job since working in pharmaceuticals is not the place for a recovering pill popper and he was using his job as his supply. No worries, he got another sales gig in no time and was back to rebuilding his career. Dabbling resumed. Back to rehab, back home. Kept job and, amazingly, wife and kids. About a year goes by and they're at his wife's parent's house for Thanksgiving. The moms and kids all decide to go out for lunch and some shopping and he stays behind. While they were gone, he went down to the basement, rolled himself up in some spare carpeting and stuck a 12 gauge in his mouth. He left a sign on the door from the garage telling them to immediately call 911 and do not come in.

                  He did leave a note and I never knew what all was in it, except my wife's friend did tell us he had started using again and was just too ashamed to ask for help a third time and thought this was the only way to cure his addiction. So tragic. Recently spent a long weekend with the friend and her two oldest daughters. The oldest graduated from the University of Colorado last year and is working in finance in Chicago and the other is getting ready to graduate from the University of Illinois this spring. He would have been so incredibly proud of them, they are just wonderful women; makes me sad and angry that he missed it all.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sean View Post
                    I think the reason is mental illness; not money or breakups. People live in deep poverty all over the world and many are very happy. People lose much money and can remain happy. It's when these events happen combined with mental illness that can cause issues to turn dire.

                    I have no experience with depression or anxiety. But my son (17) has deep anxiety and suicidal thoughts. He came up to a stop sign the other day and stopped. A bus was stopped picking people up on his left (no stop sign on that street) and my son wanted to turn right. So, he crept out into the streets slowly so that he could see if any cars were coming from around the bus and then he went. A cop pulled him over a block later for not stopping at the stop sign. My son had stopped. He was going somewhere, but turned around and came home. He was crying so hard he couldn't tell us what happened. Finally, he produced the ticket and I simply read it (just glad that he hadn't been in an accident). He was convinced that life doesn't work for him even when he does the right thing; that the world is against him. This went on for a long time. We tried to help him know that we'd fight the ticket (though, I don't know how you win without your own dash-cam footage) and that seemed to help him to know I have his back. My wife asked him for more evidence that the world is against him and he pointed to the night before when he was running the lights for the school musical and a fuse blew causing a set of lights to go down. My son fixed it within a minute, but the director was yelling at him for not getting the lights right, so my son added this to his depression of doing his best, but still getting into trouble. He said he didn't want live since he doesn't matter. My wife is very good at helping him realize his value, but it worries me that rationale talk doesn't sink in . . . at least not easily.
                    So, I'm with you that the root cause is mental illness, mainly cause I know what it's like, to an extent, to have similar feelings to your son. Every day I go to work, I start by telling myself I'm not getting fired and have to walk myself through that. I've never had a bad review (until the job I'm leaving today), but for some reason, I tell myself every morning that this is it. It makes no rational sense, yet, here I am.

                    I just think that the mental illness is there and it's triggered by something like finances or breakup and a person may not be equipped to deal with it.

                    Does your son have panic attacks? I have only had one that I'd identify as such and it's one too many, don't wish that on anyone

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                    • #11
                      He used to have panic / anxiety attacks. He was also doing poorly in school (e.g., around 8th grade). We got him into counseling and they provided medication. His grades improved almost instantly. He also had his first girlfriend shortly thereafter. We have had to adjust the dosage a few times in the past few years, but he's grown a lot in that span as well. The medicine helps with the attacks, but it's not a panacea. I feel much better about him coping with negative experiences as long as he's on his medication and he knows that the medication matters . . . bunches.

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                      • #12
                        One of my closest friends growing up did this a couple of weeks ago. He was going through a divorce, and they were arguing over who got the house. On the day it was to be auctioned, he set it on fire and shot himself. No one who saw him that week had any indication that he was going to do something like that, and he never seemed depressed or anything like that. You never know what goes on inside someone's mind when they are alone I guess. No doubt that he did it himself according to the police. I'm not sure if I was glad or sad when I heard that.

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                        • #13
                          I think it depends on how you define "mental illness." If you use a broad definition, then I'm with you. Certainly depression and chemical imbalances in the brain can be classified as "mental illness," but they are different than many other forms of mental illness.

                          I can tell you that when a person gets suicidal, it's generally because they have reached a point where they no longer have hope. A person who has the hope that things can potentially get better, can pull through some pretty dark times. But if you reach a point that you feel "this is as good as it gets," and you're in a dark place, there's no point in going on.

                          Older people who have serious health issues that aren't going to resolve have a tough time, because there is some pretty "factual" reasoning that things aren't going to get much better. The thing that old people often have going for them is a family support network.

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                          • #14
                            This is a terribly depressing thread. So sad.

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                            • #15
                              Don’t know anyone (close) who has committed suicide. I don’t get it. If I was at rock bottom with family/job issues, I’d grab all the money I could and run away from it to an island in the Caribbean before I’d off myself.

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